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Play ‘Em Off

5:20 PM ET, 10/19/2010

We say this every year, but it bears repeating …

With the Bull Champion Shit … err, Bowl Championship Series … releasing its inaugural 2010 rankings on Sunday, it falls upon us to once again point out the ridiculousness of letting computers decide who gets to play for college football’s national championship (and the pretty crystal egg that goes with it).

Not that we’ve got anything against computers (we entrust them to handle a lot of things that are far more important than football) but when it comes to the field of athletic endeavor technology needs to understand its limitations.

Instant replay? Good. Artificially inflated cheerleaders? Sure. But computer-generated championship games? “Hells to the no,” people.

As we have noted in the past, the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB along with every other major NCAA sport settle the question of “Who’s No. 1″ the way it should be settled – based on the skill level of the competitors in a playoff format. And while we have no problem entrusting computers with the responsibility of selecting the playoff field, it strikes us as patently unfair that a team like Auburn would get shut out of the national championship game this year if Oregon and Oklahoma win their remaining games (which could happen this year).

Seriously, the Southeastern Conference has won the last four consecutive BCS titles. You’re going to tell us that an undefeated SEC team doesn’t deserve the right to play for the championship?

And what about poor Boise State? The Broncos got screwed in 2006 and 2009 – going undefeated but getting shut out of the BCS championship game. Are they going to get the shaft again in 2010?

And what about what happened four years ago, when six teams – Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma – had every bit as much of a claim to the BCS title game as LSU and Ohio State, the teams that were ultimately selected.

What a playoff that would have been!

Look … every conceivable argument against a college playoff has already been addressed (not that any of those arguments ever held a candle to the inherent fairness of letting teams settle things on the field). And limiting the playoff field to eight teams not only makes it feasible from a timing standpoint, but such a system could easily be incorporated into the existing bowl structure.

Also, with nearly seventy Division I-A programs participating in bowl games, the vast majority of colleges are practicing through the end of December anyway. Why not let ‘em play it off?

Like a broken record, though, the BCS keeps throwing out the same old excuses – a playoff system would conflict with exams, it would result in more injuries … blah, blah, blah.

Frankly, we’re sick of those excuses … and while there doesn’t appear to be as much BCS-related outrage this year, just wait until another batch of deserving contenders gets shut out of the championship game for no reason other than the fact they ended up on the wrong side of a decimal point.

***


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"Unfair and Imbalanced," FITS provides an irreverent look at politics in the always-entertaining Palmetto State. Written by Will Folks - a former gubernatorial spokesman turned new media mogul - FITS dishes the latest political news, gossip and analysis in a humorous, informal tone, opining from a decidedly libertarian perspective.
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